Archive | Winter 2013

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Saag (Indian Creamed Greens)

Recipe by Jean DeWinter, photo by D. Lucas Landis

This recipe makes about 6 cups or 12 (1/2 – cup) servings. I make a large batch of this because I always put half of it in the freezer for an easy meal later.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use canola)

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 1/2 cups diced red onion (about 1 1/2 medium red onions)

2 cups 1/2 -inch diced turnip (about 2 medium turnips)

1 3/4 to 2 cups fresh diced tomato

1–2 serrano or Thai chilies, about 2 inches long each, tops cut off, then cut on bias

1–2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2  teaspoon turmeric

2 cinnamon sticks

1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons garam masala*

1 teaspoon ground coriander

3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

4–6 crushed cardamom pods (green or black)

⅛–1 teaspoon red chile powder (optional, season to taste)

1/2 to 1 cup water

1 pound baby spinach leaves

1/2 to 3/4 pound mustard greens**, torn in pieces with stems removed, washed well

1/2 to 3/4 pound kale**, torn in pieces with stems removed, washed well

1/2 to 3/4 cup half-and-half

1/4 cup whole milk or heavy cream

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peppernuts

Peppernuts

Recipe by Annette Wedel Sieber courtesy of Janneken Smucker, photo by D. Lucas Landis

1/2 pound butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon anise oil (not anise extract)

3 3/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg, corn syrup and anise oil. Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture. Mix well. The mixture will be quite dry and crumbly. Chill for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Roll the dough into “snakes” about as big around as a pencil. You may have to really squash the dough together to get the form you want. Cut into 1/8 – to 1/4 – inch pieces and spread out on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 8 minutes and don’t allow to brown.

Remove from oven and allow the first pan to cool and then try one. This is a fairly crunchy cookie so increase baking time if it is still quite doughy.

Allow to cool and serve. Keep in an airtight container on the counter or in Read More

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Vanilla

Vanilla and Chocolate Pound Cake

Recipe Courtesy of Chef Jennifer Lewis, Illustration by Jessica Flores

Makes 1 loaf

1 stick butter, unsalted (1/2 cup)

1 cup sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

8 ounces sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste

2 eggs

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated or chopped

Preheat oven to 350.

Prepare a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with butter and flour.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir into mixture, just until blended.

Stir in sour cream and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs and

mix until well blended.

Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle half of the grated/chopped chocolate and cinnamon over the batter, reserving a small amount of the mixture to sprinkle over the top. Spread remaining half of batter over chocolate, then, using a knife, swirl the chocolate mixture into the batter. Sprinkle remaining chocolate and cinnamon mixture over top.

Bake cake in the preheated oven until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean, about 45–55 minutes.

Allow the cake to partially cool, then loosen with a knife from the sides and invert Read More

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Chestnut Purée (Crème de Marrons)

Our editor, Maya Parson, enjoyed this wonderful treat during her travels this summer in France. This is a traditional regional food that celebrates the nutty sweetness of the chestnut. Enjoy our version on a slice of bread with butter or in a breakfast crepe.

Makes about 3 half-pint jars

1 pound chestnuts

2. cups sugar

1 vanilla bean

1/2 cup water

1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350. Place chestnuts flat side down on a cutting board; slice an X through the outer layer of each chestnut shell. Place these in a single layer on a baking sheet and put them into the oven.

After about 5–10 minutes, the shell should start to peel back from the nut. Remove the nuts from the oven and peel them. (They will be very hot, so be careful not to burn your fingers.) Note: If you are using frozen chestnuts, you can skip this step and simply cut the defrosted chestnuts in half and remove the meat. Freezing the chestnuts first causes the meat to pull away from the center of the shell.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, place the chestnuts and enough water to cover them. Over medium heat, cook the chestnuts for Read More

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Roasted Chestnuts

Adapted from Bon Appetit Photo by Bradley W. Bergey

Serves 3–4

1 pound fresh unshelled chestnuts

2–3 sprigs rosemary

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon (or more) kosher salt

1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 425. Score the chestnuts with an X on the rounded side of the chestnut. Heat a pan of water to boiling and soak the chestnuts for 1–2 minutes. This will help them steam as they are roasting.

Drain the chestnuts and set aside the pan. Lay out a piece of foil on the counter. Place the chestnuts, rosemary, butter, salt and nutmeg on the foil. Use your hands to toss the ingredients together. Gather up the sides of the foil and place in the empty pan, leaving the chestnuts in a single layer.

Put the pan in the oven and roast the chestnuts for 35–40 minutes, until the edges of the shells are beginning to turn up.

Place in a bowl and pour all butter and spices over the top. Check the seasonings and add more salt if desired. Serve hot.

 

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Chestnut Soup

 

This warming soup is popular in the chestnut-growing regions of France. Enjoy it freshly made on a cool winter evening, or freeze it for a quick dinner during the week.

Serves 6

1 pound chestnuts

2 tablespoons butter

5 shallots (about 1 cup), peeled and diced

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

2–3 large turnips (about 2 cups), peeled and cubed

1 teaspoon salt

4 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

4–5 stems fresh thyme

1/2 cup whole cream

Score each chestnut with an X. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Boil for 10–15 minutes, until skin begins to peel back. Remove from the water and peel while they are still hot. (They will be very hot, so be careful not to burn your fingers.) 

In another medium-size pot, place the butter, shallots, carrots, turnips and salt over medium heat. Place the lid on the pot and sweat the vegetables for 5–10 minutes, until they are soft—don’t allow them to brown.

Add the chestnuts, chicken broth, nutmeg and thyme to the pot. Cook for 35–40 minutes, until the chestnuts are tender. Remove the thyme stalks and puree the soup mixture.

Adjust the seasonings.

Serve with a Read More

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Currying Favor: A Love Story

For Jean DeWinter, learning to cook the food of her husband’s native India is
about blending and honoring her family’s diverse cultural traditions

 

By Jean DeWinter •  Photography by Peter Ringenberg

 

Until I met my husband, a native of India, my culinary boundaries did not include that far-off subcontinent. So when I decided to dip my spoon into the seemingly complicated jar of exotic spices, colorful lentils and unfamiliar herbs, I had no expectation other than to master the cooking of vegetables to that delectable state of softness.

A tough task, indeed, for this keep-the-veggies-crunchy kind of cook. Oh, and hold the spicy, please?

It was my charge to re-create the taste of home for him and to somehow lure this Indian expat to find my cooking sustainable for a lifetime. Challenged, I put my coffee-grinder-turned-spice-grinder to work overtime and cookbooks piled up with endlessly complicated recipes earmarked to try. I produced a lot of dishes without being able to gauge how they were supposed to taste.

 

Ofelia, age
5, snacks on naan—an Indian flatbread— while helping her mother in the kitchen.

My polite better half choked down over-spiced chickpeas and creamed greens with a weak smile and Indian Read More

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Dal with Cumin and Tomato Tadka

 

Dal

1 cup red lentils (masoor dal)

4 cups water

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons

kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground red chile (or more to taste)

Rinse lentils 2 or 3 times until water is not foamy and runs clear. In a large stockpot, combine lentils and water and all spices; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes (without lid) until the lentils are soft, somewhere between thick and soupy.

Tadka

A tadka  is a spice combination heated in hot oil or ghee (clarified butter) to release its unique essences. A tadka is truly what makes the dish flavorful. A simple tadka creates a tasty and complex dish with little effort. The spices used are always freshly cooked and added to the dish within minutes of serving.

1/2 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/4 cup diced red onion

1/4 cup diced tomato

Heat oil in a small frying pan. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for about 10 seconds. Add the red onion and saute until softened. Add the tomato and continue to saute until everything becomes close to caramelized. Add to cooked dal (lentils) Read More

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Margaret_0001

Baking Up a Business from Scratch

 

Photography by Ashley Dru

From the farmers market to store shelves, online sales and the launch of a new cafe, local women entrepreneurs make business look like a piece of cake.

 

Margaret Potuck

Happy Dance Cupcakes

 

Margaret Potuck has two kitchens.

For the young entrepreneur and owner of Happy Dance Cupcakes in Goshen, Indiana, her work couldn’t be done any other way. Since Potuck started Happy Dance three years ago, she has converted a back room in her home into a health-department-certified baking kitchen.

When Potuck isn’t in her baking kitchen, where is she?

“Probably my other kitchen,” she says. Before moving to Goshen in 2010, Potuck worked in a Starbucks in Nashville. As she learned the ins and outs of coffee making, she found the art of flavor combination came easy to her.

“When we moved to Goshen I noticed there wasn’t a cupcake shop, so I thought, ‘I’ll do it,’” she says. “So, I did.” -Margaret Potuck

As an independent spirit and lover of all cuisine, Potuck knew that she eventually wanted to work for herself and, somehow, with food.

“When we moved to Goshen I noticed there wasn’t a cupcake shop, so I thought, ‘I’ll do it,’” Read More

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Homemade Confections: A Candy Shop in Your Kitchen

 

By Tara Swartzendruber-Landis Photos by D. Lucas Landis  

I grew up in a family where my grandmother Erna is known for her fabulous candy and confections.

Lucky neighbors and friends receive platters delivered to their doorsteps and far-flung relatives wait for her candy care packages to arrive. Inspired by her creations, I now do less baking at the holidays and focus more on making homemade candy and other confections. I prefer simple combinations with flavors and textures that I like to eat: good chocolate, salt, a hint of spice and something crunchy.

Most of these treats keep well in the refrigerator or freezer and make great gifts for almost anyone on your list. Enjoy!

Candy Making Tips

• Use a candy thermometer. This makes the process much simpler, especially as a beginning candy-maker.

• This may seem obvious, but be very careful when working with hot sugar. Remind others who are around the kitchen that you have very hot ingredients on the stove.

• Watch carefully as you transfer colder ingredients into hotter ones as the difference in temperature can make the hot liquid bubble up very quickly.

• Stay close to your stove as you work. The temperature can Read More

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